How could I have come this far with Charlotte Food Talk without writing about this gem. Wild East Pan Asian Bistro is the first restaurant I went to in Charlotte on a Moms Night Out, and it quickly became one of my family’s favorites. We generally go for the sushi, but they offer such a variety of great food that it will also appeal to those crazy folks who don’t like sushi.
So why haven’t I written about this little gem before? Earlier this year, an electric fire caused Wild East to shut down for an extended period of time. That didn’t stop owner Steve Li, however, Wild East has been back with a vengance since June, and we’ve eaten there several times since. The quality, if anything, has improved.
Before the fire, we could count on getting seating at Wild East easily, with no wait. Nowadays, the restaurant has become much more popular, which I like to see. A weekend may find you waiting for a little (a very little, fortunately) while before seating. It is a lovely setting, not too casual, not too fancy, and the staff is incredibly friendly. I have never had a complaint. They have always been very kind to my son (who can devour more than one serving of the beef satay in an evening). In fact, the restaurant is full of both families and adults (it’s our go to restaurant for adult guests as well).
They have a lovely drink selection, my favorite is the sake and plum wine martini (I can’t remember the name of the drink, but you’ll know it when you visit).
I have to admit, despite Elena’s review of New Zealand Café; Wild East is my favorite sushi spot in town. The sushi is absolutely lovely, fresh and delicious. The less traditional rolls are fun and flavorful (my favorite is the Rock and Roll). I’ve always wanted to try their Omakase (chef’s choice) plates (there are two, one for $28 and one – that should feed two easily – for $55), but that will wait for a future visit.
On the occasions where we order something else besides sushi, we enjoy the crispy beef with tamarind sauce, which we discovered at our Washington, DC Chinese take out restaurant of choice; Mei Wah. Wild East is the only restaurant we’ve found in Charlotte with this dish. The Pad Thai is terrific, but I still prefer Thai Orchid, perhaps only because that particular restaurant was very close to our house before our recent move.
The fact is, I’ve tried many things on the menu here, and not once come home dissatisfied – quite the opposite; they need to roll me home. The shining star at Wild East, at least in my eyes, is their sushi and their service.
Wild East Pan Asian Bistro
6420 Carmel Road
Charlotte, NC, 28226